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Monday, September 8, 2014

TMA PREPARES HOSPITAL MEDICAL STAFFS FOR NEW "MEGA-STAFF" RULES

Legal disputes between big hospitals and Texas physicians are heating up, and TMA is actively engaged. In addition to joining lawsuits against hospital systems by our member physicians, TMA’s Office of General Counsel is now educating physicians on Medicare’s new conditions of participation (CoPs) for hospital medical staffs. The biggest change, effective July 11, allows hospitals in multihospital systems “to have a unified and integrated medical staff for its member hospitals.” The previous rule required each hospital to have its own independent medical staff. In their presentation, our lawyers point out that it requires a majority vote of the medical staff of each separate hospital to opt in or opt out of this “mega-staff” structure. In a formal comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), TMA, the American Medical Association, and more than 80 other medical societies urged the agency to give hospital medical staffs more time to study and prepare to implement a new rule that makes “unprecedented changes to the Medicare hospital CoPs that will dramatically alter the make-up and efficacy of hospital medical staffs nationwide.” CMS turned us down. Look for more information on hospital medical staff issues in upcoming EVPGrams.

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